Monday, November 16, 2009

Erotica vs Feminism


At a book signing last week a female attendee engaged me in a conversation about all the genres I write. When I mentioned that erotic romance is one, she balked. How could I write something that demoralized women.
Huh?
She went on to say that she had read a few erotica stories online and found that the scenes where women were dominated offended her because women should be equal to men everywhere, including in the bedroom. She also found the alpha heroes to be male chauvinist pigs. "How can you write something that demeans women?" she asked.
Quite the contrary, I responded. I write about common female fantasies. I also pointed out that most erotic romance is empowering to women. Not only are most of the authors female, the majority of the publishing executives are as well. Aside from that, our heroines are nearly always strong, capable women who can take care of themselves. Sure, alpha heroes make every attempt to dominate the heroine, but she holds her own every time. After all, these are not your grandmother's old fashioned bodice-rippers we are writing!
I think the woman walked away with something to think about and I'm confident she won't make that blanket statement to any other erotic romance authors in the future.
But what do you think? Do you find erotic romance empowering or demeaning to women?

9 comments:

Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

Empowering. But then I select the authors I read carefully.
Wynter,there's no telling what site she went to. Or what was labeled erotica and probably wasn't.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Chudney - good point. I'm sure there is lots out there I'm not aware of.

Katie Reus said...

Definitely empowering. I love erotic romance (obviously). There's a huge difference between erotica and erotic romance and it sounds like she might have been making a blanket statement about everything with the word erotic in it.

Wynter Daniels said...

That's true, Katie. Adding the romance to the erotic definitely draws me way more.

Terry Odell said...

Heck, people are still rolling their eyes when you say you write "romance" regardless of sub-genre. All they see are the old 'bodice rippers'.

Jina Bacarr said...

Unfortunately erotica is often labeled as "porn"--the word pornography comes from the Greek pornographos or writing about prostitutes. That's why it's so important to have a good story in erotic romance that empowers the woman and doesn't make her a victim. That's the best way we as writers can change minds. Good job, Wynter!

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Jina. I totally agree. The story has to shine.

shaunahart said...

I think that erotic romance is empowering. That's why I write it :) But I think you are absolutely right. It is all about women's fantasies. And believe me, there are plenty of women out there who LOVE the alpha male! I'm one of them :)

Calista Fox, Author said...

Good for you for enlightening her! I've yet to encounter that mentality at a signing. I typically warn women about the steam factor of my books, and their response is generally, "The steamier the better!" Especially the over-50 crowd! I LOVE IT! And yes, ER is empowering. Even with alpha males, women have equality in and out of the bedroom--if they have the strength to go after what they want!